Childhood Days … Hopeful Daze.


“I’ve heard that it’s possible to grow up – I’ve just never met anyone who’s actually done it. Without parents to defy, we break the rules we make for ourselves. We throw tantrums when things don’t go our way, we whisper secrets with our best friends in the dark, we look for comfort where we can find it, and we hope – against all logic, against all experience. Like children, we never give up hope.”
~Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy)

Weather

Again with the Grey’s quotes, I know. They’re just so good, though, so beautifully and eloquently crafted. They make us think, they make us reflect, and they make us feel. Because these quotes, these tidbits of wisdom and hope that Meredith imparts at the end of each episode, they don’t just touch the lives of the show’s characters. They touch our lives. They resonate. They resound. They inspire. And this one? It couldn’t be more fitting.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m the sentimental type. I like to save everything with memories attached (and, okay, if I’m being honest here … some things that could easily be tossed). My family is the same way, which is why lately we find ourselves sifting and sorting through boxes and boxes of old papers, collections, and various other items in our basement. Everything’s organized and neatly compartmentalized into its place, but not all of it needs to be saved. Some of those memories? They’re folded in our hearts, and that’s the only place necessary. Sometimes the moments, the reminiscences, that we paint for ourselves end up having so much more focus and clarity than the physical reminders. And sometimes the tangible representation just makes us smile.

Case in point: what did I come across today, you ask? Among other things: books from when I was a little child, Barbie clothes from when I was a bit older, an entire bag full of student teaching mementos – lesson plans, the sweetest cards from the kids and the amazing teachers I worked with, and more – and a catalog made by yours truly. I very clearly remember writing it, so energized and excited by the fact that our family had our first computer. It was the summer before ninth grade, so 1997 (I know, I know, we were late to the technology game, despite all the pleas from my sister and me) … and boy, did it make me laugh. It made me smile, and it also made me think about how, even then, I had such a love for writing. This catalog was filled with articles, advertisements, even an order form for anyone who wanted to “subscribe.” I never would have thought of writing it, not in a million years, until I found those pieces of paper that represented so much more than just the literal. Little did I know then how my passion for writing would grow, evolve, and blossom over the years.

Every child is probably asked that age old question: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” at some point in time. I know I was, and my answers varied over the years: nurse, veterinarian, teacher, meteorologist (see above, circa 1988 or so!), librarian, and journalist. I parlayed that last one into a dual degree in Print and Video Communications, added in another degree in Elementary Education, and had such a clear idea of what path I wanted to follow. I’m lucky enough to have had several dreams come true on that front. And then creative writing came back into my life, swept it – and me – up in a whirlwind, changed everything in ways I never thought possible, and I’ve never been the same. Funny how things work out … and pretty darn wonderful, too. I’ve said many times that I believe people come into our lives for a reason, and I believe things happen that way, too. We find the path we’re supposed to walk. We find the journey we’re meant to take.

And no, maybe we don’t ever grow up entirely. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because, like Meredith says, then we can hope. We can hope against all logic, against all experience. We can take the innocence of our childhood, that time when we lived life with arms wide open, and put some of that sparkle into our everyday. And who knows where that hope will lead?

What about you? When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Have your dreams changed over time, or are you still working toward the same goals?

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14 thoughts on “Childhood Days … Hopeful Daze.

    • I still maintain that you would be the most fabulous host the Travel Channel’s ever seen. They would be lucky to have you!

      Side note – have you ever been to Atlanta and taken CNN’s studio tour? Even after having worked at our ABC affiliate, I was still so intrigued by the behind-the-scenes perspective there!

  1. Well, from about age three to seven or eight, I wanted to train orca whales at Sea World. Free Willy was big in my house growing up. ;] Then i went through a phase where i realized all the things i didn’t want to be (teacher, nurse, firefighter, the stereotypical kid-dreams). Then I joined a choir and decided i wanted to be a singer. and THEN i started writing. Singing and writing are tied for my favorite things ever, and I’d love to make a career out of one or both.

    P.S. I didn’t know you did student teaching in college! Did you love it? I don’t think I’d have the patience to be a full-time teacher, but I’d love to do a low-maintenance teaching thing. When I was younger, I helped out with a Vacation Bible School summer program, working with the music program and teaching kids the words to songs. There’d be a big performance at the end of the two weeks where the kids sang all the songs. I’d love to do something like that in my spare time.

    • Ahhh, I LOVE the Sea World answer! Can you imagine how seriously cool a job that must be, to work with and train the whales? It has to be absolutely fascinating to get to know and understand them. Hmm … I’m thinking this needs to be either an aspiration or a career for one of your characters. Then you can go back to Sea World as research and combine that early love with your passion for writing ;-)

      I fully believe, a hundred percent, that you will make a career and living out of your love for both music and writing. You’re too talented not to.

      And yes, I did! I had fieldwork in four or five different schools for my classes, and then I student taught for a semester in my own school district. I was in a sixth grade Language Arts class (Arcadia was awesome about working with me and tailoring my placement to the double major) and I got to work with a group of amazing teachers who I’d actually had as a student. They really gave me the freedom to bring my own ideas into the curriculum … I even did a whole unit on journalism! Going into it, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about teaching an older grade, but I liked it so much more than the little kids. It definitely required a different kind of patience, but those kids were absolutely awesome and teaching them was beyond rewarding. I still see some of them out and about in the community, and to this day, they always ask me if I’m still a huge Kelly Clarkson fan ;-)

      I could 100% see you being involved in a teaching situation! You have that sunny kind of personality that kids just relate to and love. And how cool is it that you were able to find an opportunity that also tied in your passion for music?! You must have been so proud when you watched them put on their big performance at the end! I hope you can find something similar to dive into in the future :-)

  2. When I was younger I wanted to be anything an everything. Doctor, orthodontist, therapist, bus driver (I thought the steering wheels were cool), teacher, singer, etc. etc. I wonder if the fact that my mind changed every day means something for my future. :)

    • Such fun answers! I think that’s the coolest thing about growing up – anything and everything feels like a possibility. It’s like the whole world is there, just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Your interest in so many things just exemplifies that — and hey, maybe it means that you’re destined to touch people’s lives through a bunch of different avenues and situations. I have no doubt that you’ll continue to do just that!

  3. Hey! Thank you for your positive comments on HTP about Dream Share!

    While we race to meet March film festivals its really nice to hear people supporting our project! I really like this post about looking at your childhood likes to find your passion- a career counselor we interviewed suggested this technique to figure out your passion!

    Share your dream at theDreamshareproject.com

    • What a seriously cool choice! It must be fascinating to study marine wildlife and their habitat. It seems like there’s SO much to learn. All the advanced math, though … ick ;-)

  4. I went through these phases, too! First I wanted to be a princess, then a doctor, then a teacher, then an accountant!! But I soon realized none of those professions were for me. It was never my dream to go into medical transcribing, but now with the training program, I think its going well. My dream is still to be a country singer, of course but I need to be realistic!

    • Okay, how cute is the princess part?!?

      I agree – realism is definitely good, but it can never hurt to throw in some big dreams and hopeful wishes, too. In the meantime, I’m glad to hear that the training program is going well and that you’re enjoying it!

  5. I also signed up for Sing Snap, which is an online karaoke site that has so many songs to choose from! I recently did a free 10-day trial of the gold membership, where you get all the songs to sing! So far, I love it and most of the songs I sing are country!

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